Wednesday, September 12, 2001 5:33 PM
Needing to take my mind off the terror of 9/11 for a few hours, I decided to go to the York County Fair. My first impression was that this fair is huge, especially compared to the Maryland State Fair two weeks ago. Interestingly enough there were two main sections to the fair (big rides & kiddie rides), on either side of the grandstand. In addition to the normal food booths, animals, and games that make up a fair, I also passed a revival tent, and several bingo booths. I walked around for a little while while they fired up some of the big rides. After purchasing 25 tickets for $20, I rode The Wild Claw (now called The Afterburner). A few weeks ago I had ridden the KMG-made Spin Out which was amazing. So to say I was salivating over riding another KMG ride, is an understatement. Those familiar with the motions of the Huss Frisbee will feel right at home on the Wild Claw. The big differences are the inverted, no-floor seating, and the 120-degree swing at it’s apex. Unlike the Frisbee, this ride only turns in one direction. I was yelling very loud, especially at the apex. And not because I was scared, but because it was so euphoric! According the sign in front of the ride, it cost 1.5 million dollars! Worth every penny. Next it was the Zamperla Power Surge. I loved this ride at Knoebels and was happy to ride again. The Power Surge is one of the most chaotic spinning rides I’ve experienced. Still pictures don’t quite do it justice. A “spider” with multiple arms holds four seats each, with back to back seating. As the main arm raises, the seats of two are free to rotate left or right. So the spider starts spinning around. Then the main arm which supports the spider starts spinning around. This is one of those slow inverting rides that may not be for everyone one. Right next door was my next ride, the Chance Slingshot. Basically it combines a S&S Spaceshot with an Intamin Freefall on a 110ft.-tall tower. For those who’ve ridden the Spaceshot or Freefall, you know how agonizing the wait is before the launch/drop. Well, the Slingshot seems to double that wait at both the bottom and the top! Was it worth $5? Not really, but it was fun. I rode the Wild Claw two more times after this (not in a row). This ride took a little bit of recovery after the 3-minute cycle. To get rid of my last ticket (I also had to purchase two more), I rode Chance’s Pharaoh”s Fury, a standard Pirate Ship. I would’ve ridden the Wisdom Starship 2000 next door instead, but my stomach wasn’t up to it. Looking at the Power Surge once more, I was waved over by the ride op. I said I didn’t have anymore tickets, but he needed someone to ride with a little kid. So because he remembers riding earlier, he let me ride again! That’s one thing I found different about Reithoffer Shows, was that the carnies were pleasant, and didn’t represent the typical carnie (few teeth, smoking, tattoos all over, playing music at ear-shattering levels). A ride called a Flip N Out was going under some serious surgery by workers, so I didn’t get to ride. I’m looking forward to Friday, when I’ll check out Reithoffer’s other unit which will be in Frederick, MD. There I’ll be able to check out a Zamperla Energy Storm!